One last flight for the birdies

What better way to wrap up the badminton season than with a little fun? Hence, the Fun Tournament.

What better way to wrap up the badminton season than with a little fun? Hence, the Fun Tournament.

More than 30 players from the Whitehorse Badminton Club and the Whitehorse Youth Badminton Club came out to participate at the second Fun Tournament of the season, held Saturday at Takhini Elementary. To ensure the double-elimination style tournament wrapped up in one day, matches consisted of just one game up to 21.

Closing out the season on top was Mark Janus, defeating Bill Matiation in the singles final 21-17.

“I’ve been playing Bill for a long, long time now, and we pretty much know each other’s styles,” said Janus. “Fortunately for me, this time I got lucky. Generally it goes both ways; sometimes he beats me, sometimes I beat him.

“As far as it goes for today, I was good with my shot placement and caught him off guard a couple times.”

Sandeep Sharma came in third.

Taking the doubles title was club member Al Fozard and Jerome Belanger of the Whitehorse Youth Badminton Club.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the duo, taking a loss to Mike Mason and Sulem Darani before getting to the finals and winning it. However, in a rematch against Mason and Darani before the finals, Belanger and Fozard managed to pull out the win.

“I think we were a bit warmer because it was later on in the day and we were more focused,” said Belanger. “My partner is pretty talented too.

“We were randomly put together but we know everyone pretty well.”

Belanger and Fozard were not the only two paired together by organizers—all the doubles teams were predetermined to level the playing field.

“We call it the Fun Tournament because we take players of all different levels and we blend them together in order to make it as fun as possible—not as much competitiveness,” said Janus.

Finishing second in the doubles was Janus and Peter Morawsky, followed by Yvonne Clarke and Logan Godin in third.

The two clubs are hoping next year more people will watch events like the Fun Tournament and the Yukon Junior Championships. However, many people feel, incorrectly, the sport is too slow, said Janus.

“We’d like to have the general public a little more in-tune with what’s going on,” he said. “It’s more of a game than people remember backyard badminton as. Playing at a higher level, it’s quite an exciting sport to watch.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com